- Posted May 7, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Medicare Payments May Be Disrupted if Supremes Rule ACA Unconstitutional
In briefs to the Supreme Court, which some are claiming are veiled threats, the Administration of President Barack Obama is warning the Justices that if the Court fails to uphold the Affordable Care Act it could disrupt Medicare payments.
The Supremes in an unusual move devoted 3 days in March to hear arguments, pro and con, to the signature legislation of the President. A ruling is expected in late June or early July within months of the fall presidential election.
Medicare's payment system, the unseen but vital network that handles 100 million monthly claims, could freeze up if President Barack Obama's health care law is summarily overturned, the administration has quietly informed the courts.
Although Obama's overhaul made significant cuts to providers and improved prescription and preventive benefits, Medicare was overlooked in Supreme Court arguments that focused on the law's controversial requirement that individuals carry health insurance.
Yet havoc for Medicare could have repercussions as both parties avidly court seniors in this election year and as hospitals and doctors increasingly complain the program doesn't pay enough.
In papers filed with the Supreme Court, administration lawyers have warned of "extraordinary disruption" if Medicare is forced to unwind countless transactions that are based on payment changes required by more than 20 separate sections of the Affordable Care Act.
Opponents say the whole law must go. The administration counters that even if it strikes down the insurance mandate, the court should preserve most of the rest of the legislation. That would leave in place its changes to Medicare as well as a major expansion of Medicaid coverage.
The ACA has been a major issue during the Republican primary season and one that has already made its way into the contest between the President in his bid for a 2nd term. His challenger presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has stated that the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare on the national level is wrong and should be left up to each individual state.
From the Cornfield, as a Medicare subscriber if indeed this is true, this is quite troubling.